Interest should be strong from a 3-4 team willing to bank on the chance that Williams can be just as effective rushing from a two-point stance as he has been with his hand in the ground. A legitimate double-digit sack threat in the right system.
He really opened eyes with an excellent workout at the combine, where he was among the leaders at linebacker with a 4.57-second 40-yard dash.
Williams emerged as one of the nation's most feared pass rushers in 2011, registering 12.5 sacks, including nine in the final five games. With 12.5 sacks over 12 games as a junior, Williams joined Houston Texans' first round pick Whitney Mercilus in being one of only two players in the FBS to average more than a sack per game.
He was a first-team All-Big East pick in 2012 after finishing with a team-high 11.5 sacks, averaging 0.96 per game.
He finished his four year career at UConn as the all-time leaders in sacks with 30.5. Williams was also third on the team with 13.5 tackles for loss and ranked tied for fourth in the Big East with 1.12 per game.
Exhibits acceleration to track down the stretch play from the backside. Consistently creates space with good arm extension and impressive punch to his opponent's chest plate. Makes good use of flexibility to generate low leverage at the edge. Possesses elite straight-line speed for an end, and is "plus" in this area among linebackers.
Weaknesses: Under-sized for a traditional 3-point edge rusher, but hasn't shown a lot in terms of lining up as a traditional linebacker, either. Lacks power necessary to consistently generate any kind of bull-rush and is a pure speed rusher who has to rely heavily on his get-off to make the edge.
Flashes a secondary move from time to time, but needs to continue to develop a repertoire if he's going to consistently contribute pressure at the next level. Doesn't exhibit a high level of awareness or instincts as a run defender and may be a one-trick pony. Rarely drops back into coverage, so is tough to grade in space.
Compares To: Dexter Davis, OLB/DE, Seattle Seahawks - Like Davis did at Arizona State, Williams has put up some intriguing sack numbers at the college level (11.5 in '12) despite lacking the size and strength that scouts want to see in an every-down rusher at the next level.
Williams gets off the ball much better than Davis did though, and should warrant a higher pick than the seventh-round selection that the Seahawks used on Davis back in '10. Interest should be strong from a 3-4 team willing to bank on the chance that Williams can be just as effective rushing from a two-point stance as he has been with his hand in the ground.
A legitimate double-digit sack threat in the right system who se upside could be more like Bruce Irvin in year one.